The Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team looks to build on a dominating opening win with what may be a slightly tougher match-up against Japan, who have already won their opening two games.
Canada impressed during their win over Great Britain in the opening game to kick off the Paralympics in Tokyo.
Kady Dandeneau lead the way for Canada in the opener. She notched a triple-double with 32 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists to help take the game by 19 points, 73-54. Japan is powered by forward Fujii Ikumi, who has impressed in her two games played so far.
Rosalie Lalonde’s impactful performance was partially overshadowed by Dandeneau’s dominant night, but she chipped in 20 points, three rebounds and three assists, going 70 per cent from the field in only 23 minutes played. The Montreal native will look to continue with this efficiency to push the Canadian roster past Japan and ultimately to gold.
The Canucks dominated on the defensive end against Great Britain, forcing 12 turnovers and scoring 16 points from those turnovers while holding the British to 37% per cent from the field. This sound defence will need to stay strong against a Japanese side that will surely test the Canadians.
With Canada ranked at number one in the world heading into the tournament, and Japan already having won two games, it will be crucial for the Canadians to continue the momentum if a medal is in sight.
This Canadian team haven’t won a medal in this event since bronze in 2004, and after beating a quality team like Great Britain, slotting another victory into the win column will certainly give Canada the confidence needed to end the medal drought.